Tampa Bay Rays ace, Chris Archer, is listed as “questionable” for his next start on Friday due to a groin issue. Meanwhile, southpaw Anthony Banda — one of the young pitchers who could replace Archer should his injury necessitate a disabled list stint — is sidelined with a forearm strain that has the potential to be a serious injury.
On Saturday, Archer disclosed that he has been dealing with groin tightness, which led to an appointment in Philadelphia on Monday, a team off-day, with core muscle specialist Dr. William Meyers.
Archer is erring on the side of caution since he has not had this type of issue before, saying:
Since it’s something that I’ve never dealt with, it’s better to just address it, know what it is. That way we can know how to strengthen it and how to get better ASAP.
It appears that Archer might not make his next start against the Mariners on Friday.
It’s questionable, Archer said. And obviously it hurts because the only thing I take pride in and have an ego about is pitching once every five days. Regardless of the results, I want to be there for my team. I’m going to do everything I can to be out there but not do anything silly to over-exert myself.
Losing Archer would be yet another blow to the Rays, who have scrambled for arms all season long due to injuries and their unique usage of regular bullpen days.
Banda was placed on the seven-day disabled list at Triple-A Durham on Sunday due to a left forearm strain, an injury that will likely keep the southpaw out beyond the minimum amount of time. He is headed back to St. Petersburg, where he will receive an evaluation from the Rays’ team doctors before a formal timetable for his return is established.
Acquired as the primary piece of the three-team trade that sent Steven Souza to the Diamondbacks last offseason, Banda has posted solid numbers in Durham this season and also made three big league appearances for Tampa Bay. He last worked six innings with the Bulls on Thursday.
Forearm injuries are always a cause for concern, as they are seen as a precursor to Tommy John surgery.
Tampa Bay lost a pair of top tier prospects — Jose De Leon and Brent Honeywell — to Tommy John surgery prior to the start of the 2018 season.
Likewise, Yonny Chirinos and Jose Mujica each have been sidelined with forearm strains, however, MRI’s revealed no structural damage for either hurler. Mujica projects to miss about a month on the DL, while Chirinos threw 54 pitches over four innings for Durham on Sunday in his third rehab outing.